Diet during pregnancy in relation to maternal weight gain and birth size

Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, School of Medicine, University of Athens, Greece.
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Impact Factor: 2.95). 02/2004; 58(2):231-7. DOI: 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1601771
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Maternal weight gain has been consistently linked to birth weight but, beyond maternal energy intake, no macronutrient has been associated with either of them. We have examined whether maternal energy-adjusted intake of macronutrients is associated with either maternal weight gain or birth-size parameters.
Cohort study.
University hospital in Boston, USA.
A total of 224 pregnant women coming for their first routine prenatal visit. The women were followed through delivery.
None. Pregnant women's dietary intake during the second trimester was ascertained at the 27th week of pregnancy through a food frequency questionnaire.
Intake of neither energy nor any of the energy-generating nutrients was significantly associated with birth size. In contrast, maternal weight gain by the end of the second trimester of pregnancy was significantly associated with energy intake (+0.9 kg/s.d. of intake; P approximately 0.006) as well as energy-adjusted intake of protein (+3.1 kg/s.d. of intake; P<10(-4)), lipids of animal origin (+2.6 kg/s.d. of intake; P<10(-4)) and carbohydrates (-5.2 kg/s.d. of intake; P<10(-4)).
Although maternal weight gain is strongly associated with birth size, the indicated nutritional associations with weight gain are not reflected in similar associations with birth-size parameters. The pattern is reminiscent of the sequence linking diet to coronary heart disease (CHD) through cholesterol: diet has been conclusively linked to blood cholesterol levels and cholesterol levels are conclusively linked to this disease, even though the association of diet with CHD has been inconclusive and controversial.

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Available from: Rulla M Tamimi, Jun 11, 2014
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate possible associations between maternal diet during pregnancy and fetal growth. Factor analysis was used to explore dietary patterns among pregnant women. The association between maternal dietary patterns and fetal growth (in terms of small for gestational age, SGA) was investigated by logistic regression. Prospective cohort study, including information on 44 612 women in Denmark. Two major dietary patterns were defined: the first pattern was characterized by red and processed meat, high-fat dairy, and the second pattern was characterized by intake of vegetables, fruits, poultry and fish. Women were classified into three classes according to their diet: the first class had high intake of foods of the first dietary pattern, and was classified as 'the Western diet', the second class preferred foods of the second pattern and was classified as the 'Health Conscious'; and the third one had eaten foods of both patterns, and was classified as the 'Intermediate'. The odds ratio of having a small for gestational-age infant (with a birth weight below the 2.5th percentile for gestational age and gender) was 0.74 (95% CI 0.64-0.86) for women in the Health Conscious class compared with women in the Western Diet class. The analyses were adjusted for parity, maternal smoking, age, height, pre-pregnancy weight and father's height. Our results indicated that a diet in pregnancy, based on red and processed meat and high-fat diary, was associated with increased risk for SGA. Further studies are warranted to identify specific macro-, or micronutrients that may be underlying these associations.
    European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 05/2008; 62(4):463-70. DOI:10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602745 · 2.95 Impact Factor
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